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Calculating cook times with a `slow' smoker?

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    Calculating cook times with a `slow' smoker?

    I have found that my gas Camp Chef 24" Smoke Vault takes a fairly long time to get and hold temperatures consistently, so I was wondering how you adjust cook times when, for example, you load your meat into the smoker which is at 225F, and drops to 155F when you close the door. For me, the climb up to 225F again can take up to an hour or more. I know many factors like ambient temperature, wind, meat/water temperatures, and volumes - but generally how do you adjust? Up to now I have just winged it and things have turned out ok for the most part. I was just wondering if there are any tips around this type of scenario.

    #2
    other than saying “ it’s gonna take longer” which you already know....just have a good IT thermometer and cook to your desited IT

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      #3
      I'd try running at 250.

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        #4
        With experience you will be able to know what your cooker does. When I smoke I target a two-hour time range and we can hold at the end if necessary. Knowing how long something will take down to a few minutes is not possible.

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          #5
          An hour to get from 155° to 225°? I don't know anything about those smokers; is that normal for a Camp Chef 24" Smoke Vault? I just read that cooker has an 18,000 BTU burner in it, doesn't seem like it should take that long. I would start by calling Camp Chef support and telling them your heat issue. It could be something like a faulty temp sensor.

          Also, I don't know where you live, but if it gets very cold and/or windy there, you might consider insulating it. Maybe Camp Chef makes an insulation blanket for it. If not, it wouldn't be hard to throw something together.

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            #6
            Sounds like the flow restrictor on your regulator might be kicking in if it is taking so long to heat up. I have one that I use to bake in and I have to work to keep temps down sometimes.
            Try turning on the tank valve slowly and only about a turn or two. I usually turn it less than one turn, but others here have no problem with 1 or 2 turns.

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              #7
              I have a smoke vault 24 and don't have this problem. If I open the door for a few minutes to add wood, water, or spray meat, etc., the temperature usually comes back up within 5-10 minutes. One thing I have noticed is that if I move the meat around and inadvertantly get it too close to my ambient temperature probe, the meat will artificially drop the temperature reading. But it always seems to come back up within 20-30 minutes. If this isn't what is happening to you, then I'd say there is something wrong.

              That all said, I do think my smoke vault takes a bit longer than other smokers people talk about when I'm smoking at a similar temperature. A recent cook of meaty baby back ribs to close to 6 hours at 250 F. Spares often take 8-9 hours. So as someone mentioned, give yourself an extra hour or two and you can always hold in a faux cambro.

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